What is Red Thread Disease?

Red thread is a grass fungus disease that is prevalent here in Michigan due to the warm humid days followed by cooler nights. The disease can range in size from 2 inches to as much as 3 feet in diameter. From a distance the disease may appear to be pink or red patches in your lawn, but upon closer examination you will notice the grass blades have a bleached appearance. Red thread lawn disease mainly affects nitrogen-deficient turfgrasses such as fescue, bluegrasses, bentgrasses, bermudagrass and perennial ryegrass.

How to get rid of Red Thread Lawn Disease:

The most important control option for getting rid of red thread lawn disease (sometimes referred to as pink patch) involves implementing an adequate nitrogen fertility program. A good fertility program implemented over two to three years should drastically reduce further red thread problems. Other cultural practices that promote healthy turf and vigorous growth also help suppress red thread. Outbreaks may be reduced further by avoiding irrigation practices that extend dew periods (such as watering in the late afternoon and early evening). 

In addition to having a proper fertilization program for your lawn there are other ways to control pink patch in you lawn. In extreme circumstances the use of fungicides may be necessary to prevent long term damage to your lawn. The use of a fungicide should be your last resort to controlling the problem and should be left to someone that is a licensed professional and educated in turf management like our team here at Olson's Lawnscape.

Why is Red Thread So Bad In Escanaba?

The excessive rainfall we received this spring has not only resulted in mowing challenges, but has also resulted in some turf areas in need of nutrition. Not surprisingly, reports of red thread on lawns have been rolling in throughout the Escanaba, Michigan area. The common lawn-mix turfgrasses, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue, have all been affected.

Red thread is typically active during wet, moist periods when temperatures range from 55 to about 80 degrees. If you are not sure if you have red thread or not, red thread can be identified by the pinkish-red strands  that extend from the leaf blade tip. If you observe the turf early in the morning when it is still moist, you might find what I describe as miniature balls of pink cotton candy. If you see this your lawn likely has red thread. The areas infected by red thread will eventually die or the turf may appear wilted.

One way to combat the situation is to have the grass “outgrow” the red thread. When you have turf that is healthy and actively growing you may need additional fertilization to accomplish this. As you can tell there is a lot to know about how to eliminate red thread in your lawn which is why we recommend contacting a professional.

If you believe that your lawn has red thread lawn disease or another lawn fungus, give Olson's Lawnscape a call at 906-399-1718 today for a free quote for professional lawn care services that will keep your lawn healthy and disease free.